Making carrot juice is easy but there are a few important points to keep in mind for the best results. Let’s take a quick look at them.
To start you’ll need a good juicer. They are various types of juicing machines available and carrots, being one of the more solid vegetables, will be easier to juice with a well-built machine.
It doesn’t have to cost a great deal, but the cheapest are usually the cheapest for a reason and over the longer term it pays to get a juicer of decent quality. Many people start with a centrifugal juicer as these are usually less expensive.
However, if you enjoy the health benefits of juicing enough to do it regularly, a good masticating/auger type juicer becomes a wise investment.
They do cost more initially, but they also usually produce a larger quantity of juice each time you use them versus a centrifugal juicer and, many believe, a juice of higher quality as well since there is less oxidization.
Choosing Your Carrots
Once you’ve got your juicer set up you’ll obviously need the carrots. Carrots used for juicing really should be organic carrots. This is very important.
Part of what makes carrots so healthy is the way they absorb nutrients from the ground so well. Unfortunately, this means they are also very good at absorbing pesticides and even heavy metals from the soil.
This page on organic carrots goes into greater detail, but for now I’ll just say that testing shows conventionally grown carrots often have a high pesticide load and can even contain heavy metals.
Organically grown carrots cannot be sprayed with pesticides or grown in ground where pesticides have been used for many years.
They taste better, may have more nutrients (this is hard to prove conclusively, but makes sense if they are grown in more nutrient rich soils) and really are only a little more for the difference they will make your health and energy.
Additionally, organic carrots don’t need to be peeled (even peeled conventionally grown carrots tested showed traces of pesticides). This is a good thing as just under the peel is where many of the health nutrients are.
Making Carrot Juice
To prepare organic carrots for juicing, simply soak them in a large bowl of water with a dash of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda is great for cleaning vegetables and fruit) and then quickly scrub them with a scrubbing brush.
Once they are scrubbed and cleaned (this should only take a minute), cut off both ends and, if any are too large, slice them in half.
Depending on the size of the feed chute in your juicer, it can be good to look for relatively thin carrots that are around 6 inches (15 cm) long or less. These will usually be sweeter as well.
Another thing to look for when selecting your organic carrots is the color. The deeper the color the more beta-carotene and other carotenoids they are likely to contain.
It’s also best to leave carrots with too many cracks or blemishes and, if they have tops, go for those that look fresh and green, rather than wilted and yellow.
Now that you have our carrots ready, simply turn on the juicer and push them through with the press at a steady rate, with a large cup or bowl underneath where the juice comes out.
Something I like to do here is use quite a large bowl to catch any splatter and put some ice cubes and a squeeze of lemon juice at the bottom of it to help lessen oxidation.
Particularly using a centrifugal juicer, there’s going to be a bit of oxygen exposure in creating the juice and for this reason it’s best to drink your carrot juice as soon as you’ve finished making it.
Many of the health nutrients, and particularly the enzymes, won’t keep and you’re getting the most out of your carrot juice if you drink it right away.
Masticating/auger type juicers are much better at preventing oxidation and preserving the nutrients, but even then I’d still suggest drinking your carrot juice as soon as possible, even before you clean the juicer.
Don’t leave the cleaning too long though. The sooner you do it the easier it is.
Carrot juice is great on its own but even better in combination with other healthy juices like beetroot, pineapple, apple, lemon, kiwi, watermelon, celery and many others. You can come up with some amazing tastes and store bought juices will really pale in comparison.
I’ve also shared some of my favorite Detoxifying Carrot Juice Recipes here.
Infographic from Visual.ly
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